La Blogothèque

Gaspar Claus and Pedro Soler

Let’s start with the desert, with a cello in the desert, before we go back to Banyuls.

Banyuls. Pedro Soler. Gaspar Claus. This Take Away Show is the point where several other Take Away Shows converge. Banyuls is the city where the The National’s was filmed. Pedro Soler played guitar in a Cincinnati amphitheater during the Music Now festival. Gaspar Claus accompanied Vincent Moon when he filmed Sidi Touré in Mali.

There are also other connections. Gaspar Claus is an old friend of Vincent’s, and Banyuls is part of their history. Most importantly, Peter Soler is Gaspar’s father. Moon had been talking about this project for ages, shooting a Take Away Show with Gaspar and his cello. I was torn between curiosity and confidence on one hand, and skepticism on the other.

The skepticism vanished, just like dust on a guitar’s strings, swept away by the fugitive gesture of old, nimble fingers. Because there’s music, another kind of music. Because there’s a story. Because there’s family.

Watch this first video and notice how, in the context of this new type of music, everything in the TAS format looks brand new. Unseen gestures; arms stretching on both sides of the cello, supported by the shoulder; a hand which hardly moves, and fingers nimbly picking.

Listen to the stories of an old Flamenco guitar player: of Franco, Walter Benjamin, Toulouse, borders, exiles, abandoned hotels, deserted seashores, and obsolete customs.

Above all, it’s at the end–the very end of the last video–that everything is revealed. Thanks to just a tiny little something, of course. There’s a son in the front, focused on his cello. There’s his father behind him, playing too, with more lightness, probably due to his experience. His guitar accompanies him as if by its own accord. His hands make their own way, and he accompanies the cello while being focused on one thing: watching his son play, and being alert, admiring, tender. If, one day, in the future, life gives me the opportunity to stare at my son this way, I’ll think to myself that everything in this life will have been worthwhile.

(Translation by Nora)